Do you suffer from POTS? It can be severe enough to inhibit you from doing your daily activities. But can you get disability for POTS? Let us read on to find out more!
POTS is a condition in which most of your blood stays in the lower half of your body when you shift your body from reclining to standing.
Your heart rate increases to supply adequate blood to the brain. Consequently, you experience dizziness, vomiting, headache, and others. It’s estimated that 1 to 3 million people in America are suffering from POTS syndrome.
So can you get a disability for POTS? Yes, you can get disability for POTS, but your condition should be severe enough that it prohibits you from working for almost 12 months. Simultaneously you should earn enough work credits in your working period before getting disabled.
The article discusses more about POTS syndrome. So, you can continue reading the article for more information.
What Is POTS?
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is a disorder of blood circulation. It is part of a group of disorders whose primary symptom is orthostatic intolerance.
Whenever you stand from a reclining position, most of the blood will start pulling towards the lower half of the body because of gravity. But in a healthy person, the body activates different nervous systems, which release hormones that can tighten the blood vessels. As a result, an adequate amount of blood flows to the brain and heart.
But if you are suffering from POTS, the blood vessels will not become narrow when you stand up. As a result, most of the blood will flow to the lower half of the body.
The heart will start beating faster by more than 30 beats per minute to provide sufficient blood to the brain. Due to the excess heartbeat you may feel fatigued, have light headaches, shakiness, and others. Symptoms of POTS are similar to chronic fatigue syndrome.
Some people may experience hypertension, i.e., a rise in blood pressure when they stand for 3 minutes, while others can experience hypotension, i.e., a significant drop in blood pressure after standing.
It is estimated that almost one to three million people in the United States suffer from POTS. Women between 15 to 50 years are more likely to suffer from POTS than men. The disease is less commonly seen in children. However, adolescents can have symptoms of POTS.
What Are The Symptoms Of POTS?
The symptoms of POTS are as follows.
- Belly Pain
- Severe sweating
- Blurry vision
- High or low blood pressure
- High or low heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Sensory disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Color change in hands and feet
- Feeling nervous or anxious
- Feeling too hot or too cold
You can feel the symptoms of POTS while standing in a queue, taking a hot shower, waiting for your bus, or just after eating because your body will require more blood to digest the food. The symptoms may worsen when you catch a common cold or have an infection. Sometimes the POTS become severe in some people that it prevents them from standing for 2-3 minutes. It can significantly affect their personal and work life.
Types And Causes Of POTS
You can have POTS for various reasons. Some of the common types are as follows.
- Neuropathic POTS: Neuropathic POTS occurs when there is damage to small-fiber nerves, which control the narrowing of blood vessels in limbs and abdomen.
- Hyperadrenergic POTS: Hyperadrenergic POTS occurs when then there is a stress hormone called norepinephrine.
- Hypovolemic POTS: Hypovolemic POTS occurs when there is a reduction in blood volume.
- Secondary POTS: Secondary POTS occurs when you have symptoms of POTS and other diseases like diabetes, Lyme disease, and others.
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HOW Is POTS Treated?
There is no permanent cure for POTS, but treatment can reduce some POTS symptoms.
Your doctor may prescribe medicines like fludrocortisone, Betablockers, midodrine, and even salt tablets, which will help an adequate amount of blood flow to the brain and heart.
Medical Compression Stockings
Your doctor may suggest medical compression stockings to help push blood from your leg to your heart and brain.
Change In Lifestyle
Lifestyle change is a key to reducing POTS symptoms. You should increase water and salt intake to increase blood flow and volume.
But some people are not advised to take too much salt. So it’s better to talk to your doctor before adding too much salt to your diet.
Other lifestyle changes include
- Stay hydrated
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day
- Try to sleep for 8-9 hours a day
- Eat small meals
Can You Get Disability For POTS Syndrome?
POTS syndrome is a neurological disorder in which the autonomic nervous system does not function normally. Unfortunately, SSA does not list POTS syndrome in its Bluebook.
But that does not mean that you will not get disability benefits for POTS syndrome. You have to submit more paperwork that proves that you have severe POTS syndrome that hinders you from maintaining your work-life for around 12 months.
The Bluebook of Social Security Administration categorizes numerous body impairments like cardiovascular and neurological systems. Suppose you have POTS syndrome and have symptoms related to the Cardiovascular system. In that case, you need to see the cardiovascular section of the Bluebook and match your medical conditions according to it.
If your POTS syndrome symptoms are related more to the neurological system, then you need to see the neurological section and match medical records accordingly. The claim for POTS syndrome should focus mainly on the severity of symptoms and their impact on the body system.
POTS can have numerous symptoms, as described above. So your medical evidence should contain all the scan and lab results or digestive systems results which will prove your disability in SSA to get benefits.
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How Can I Prove That POTS Is Preventing Me From Working?
The POTS syndrome can have different symptoms in your body. So you need to provide enough medical records that document numerous things and will prove the severity of the disease.
I am listing them below
- The date on which you are diagnosed with POTS syndrome
- Symptoms of POTS syndromes
- Length and frequency of the symptoms experienced because of this disorder
- Tilt table test results
- Blood test results
- Other lab test results
- X-ray results
- Digestive system testing results
- Medications are taken, and on which dosage
- Any additional treatments took and their results
Your doctor will also include various statements like
- Manner of symptoms seen
- Effect of the signs on your work life
- Any other vital information which limits you from working in your organization.
Can You Get Social Security Disability Insurance For POTS If You Don’t Meet Blue Book Criteria?
Suppose you cannot prove the severity of POTS syndrome by Bluebook listing, then you can qualify for Social Security disability benefits by medical-vocational allowance or compassionate allowance. This approach involves a Residual Functional Capacity form that affects all the symptoms of POTS syndrome and how it limits your ability to do work.
For instance, the RFC form will indicate that you cannot stand for more than one hour because of the severity of POTS syndrome. Your doctor fills out the RFC form. Remember, the SSA gives more weightage to the opinion of your doctor. So, work closely with your doctor to get positive results.
What Other Qualifications Should I Meet For Benefits?
You need to earn adequate work credits to get Social Security benefits. However, the number of credits you will be earning depends on your age and the period of your working life.
For instance, if you are 62 years and above, then you need to earn 40 work credits in 10 years of your working period. If you are applying for disability benefits for 58 years, then you need to earn 36 work credits.
According to SSA, you will get one credit per $1510 net earnings. You can earn a maximum of 4 work credits in a year.
Requirements For SSDI
- You should have earned enough work credits to apply for disability benefits.
- You need to provide medical evidence in support of your POTS syndrome. You will get disability benefits only when your medical evidence proves that you cannot continue your current work for almost 12 months. Simultaneously the severity of the disease will not make you capable of doing any other type of work other than PRW(past relevant work).
- Fill RFC form to support your claim.
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How Can I Appeal The Decision of Social Security Administration On My Claim?
If you disagree with the decision made by disability examiners of SSA, then you can request an appeal within 60 days. You can file an appeal online by visiting the Social Security Website even if you stay outside of the United States.
There are four types of appeal when you agree with the decision made by SSA.
Reconsideration means there will be a thorough review of your claim, which was denied in the first round. The SSA will check your medical evidence once again and any new evidence submitted by you.
If you are requesting reconsideration for a qualifying disability, then the SSA will send a request to the Disability Determination service of your State to review.
If you are requesting reconsideration over a nonmedical issue like an overpayment, it will be handled by the local office of SSA.
#2.Hearing By Administrative Law Judge
The Administrative law judge will look at all your evidence and give a decision
#3.Review By Appeal Council
If you disagree with the decision made by SSA, then you can request to review your evidence by the appeal council. The appeal council can make a new decision or may return your case to an Administrative law judge.
If you disagree with the SSA decision, you can file a case in Federal court. The Federal court will review your decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1. How many people with POTS are disabled?
Its estimated almost 25 percent of POTS patients are disabled and cannot maintain their work life.
#2. What type of disability are POTS?
POTS is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system. It is a branch of the nervous system that regulates our body functions even if unconscious modes like heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, etc.
#3. Are POTS considered a heart condition?
POTS increases the heart rate by almost 30 times per minute when a person changes his position from sitting to standing. It can cause nausea, vomiting, light headache, or shortness of breath.
A Few Final Words
POTS is an autonomic nervous system disorder. But diagnosis with POTS will not help you in getting disability benefits. You have to prove that POTS is severe in your case and that you cannot work for almost 12 months.
We thank you for reading the article and hope we covered everything that you needed to learn about POTS and how to get a disability claim